“Mama, no go!”

Afraid_of_the_dark_boy_2Walking down stairs is a big thing for a toddler, who has barely just learned to walk. As he strives to coordinate his legs and avoid falling there is something else Mario’s (let’s call him that) mind has to keep busy with, making it all the more difficult. His mother is walking in front of him, and he keeps repeating the words “Mama, no go!”. I was walking behind them and couldn’t help but wonder why. Why would he have to say those words at such a crucial moment for him?

Upon closer observation, it was clear to me that the mother was not being very helpful. Her body language had a subtle but clear drift away from the child, whose response was understandable; even though she was still close to him, and most would have thought she cared. Clearly this was not the first time it happened  – if it doesn’t just remind him of what happens in the privacy of home.

After the big descent had finished for Mario, I watched them wait at the lobby. Exploring the environment, brisk Mario was like a satellite to his distant mother. She initiated the march out, and he followed… “Mama. no go!”.


Oh, mother. Heaven knows you must have been neglected too, but I’ll tell you something. If you don’t want your child you don’t have to keep him; and it is better that you do not keep him. There are plenty in the world, like myself, who would willingly care for him.

The problem is that you do want to keep him, don’t you? You would even kill for him, wouldn’t you? Your “treasure”… You still want to own him; have exclusive rights over him; for you want to do to him what was done to you. You want to stay in that familiar place where you can soothe yourself by passing on your own torture to someone who is too small and dependent to realise what you are doing, much like you indulge in vices with things that belong to you only.

You cannot forgive yourself, because you know what you are doing, and you know that it cannot be forgiven. And so you will not be forgiven, in spite of appearances; not even by Mario; it is impossible. You are a captor, a kidnapper. You are bad and despicable, and in a different world your child would be taken away from you. Because only you have chosen it. Because you are the one who should be abandoned  – for as long as you are willing to abandon your child or any part of him whatsoever – to walk down the stairs of your own spiritual death, all by yourself.


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